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Business Types for Startups in India: A Deep Dive into Access to Capital

  • Setindiabiz Team
  • December 25, 2023
Business Types for Startups in India A Deep Dive into Access to Capital
Welcome back to our insightful eight-part series, ‘Business Types for Startups in India.’ In this fifth instalment, we will be discussing a crucial aspect that every entrepreneur must consider: access to capital. The ability to secure funding is vital for the success and growth of any startup. This article will explore how different business structures in India can impact a startup’s ability to access various forms of capital, including debt and equity financing, government grants, and loans. We aim to provide you with essential insights to help you navigate the financial landscape strategically and secure the necessary funds for your business venture.
After exploring legal structures, ownership and control, owner’s liability, and taxation in Indian businesses, we now focus on the backbone of any enterprise – its capital. Whether it’s a Company, an LLP, a Partnership Firm, or a Sole Proprietorship, each structure has its own challenges and opportunities in accessing capital. Any startup needs to understand these nuances, as they can impact not only the immediate funding options but also the long-term financial trajectory of the business.
As we move forward in our series, we will cover important topics such as Compliance, Ownership Transferability, and the Closure or Winding-up processes, each contributing a vital piece to the entrepreneurship puzzle in India. Our goal is to provide you with comprehensive knowledge and insights to enable you to make informed decisions and successfully navigate the complex aspects of starting and running a business in India. Stay tuned as we explore the critical element of accessing capital, which is a key driver in the journey of any ambitious startup.
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Securing Capital: A Key Driver for Business Success

Securing enough funds is a crucial aspect for any business to succeed. The way your startup is organised can have a significant effect on its ability to obtain capital, which can impact its growth and long-term sustainability. In today’s rapidly changing business landscape, startups need to remain agile and adaptable, and securing adequate financial resources is a key driver for this. This detailed analysis will explore how various business structures approach funding options, including traditional bank loans, venture capital, crowdfunding, and more. Understanding the pros and cons of each funding avenue can help you make informed decisions and set your startup on a path to success.
Feature Company LLP Partnership Firm Sole Proprietorship
Traditional Bank Loans
Easier due to limited liability
Moderate, may require partner guarantees
Moderate, depends on partners' creditworthiness
Limited, relies on owner's credit
Government backed Loans
Good potential, depends on business type and industry
May be available depending on business and industry
Potential depending on business and industry
Limited, depends on program eligibility
Line of Credit
Easier access with established financial history
Moderate, may require partner guarantees
Moderate, depends on partners' creditworthiness
Limited, relies on owner's credit
Venture Capital
High potential, depends on scalability and growth potential
Limited potential, mainly early-stage investors
Limited potential, primarily friends & family
No formal VC access, relies on personal networks
Angel Investors
High potential for innovative or disruptive businesses
Moderate potential, may be attracted by individual partners
Limited potential, primarily personal network
Limited, relies on convincing individual investors
Crowdfunding
Moderate potential, depends on campaign strategy and business appeal
Moderate potential, depends on campaign and partners' networks
Limited potential, depends on campaign and personal network
Limited, relies on convincing individual supporters
Bootstrapping
Good initial option, requires careful financial management
May be feasible if partners have initial capital
May be feasible if initial investment from partners
Primarily relies on owner's personal funds
Equipment Leasing
Potential depending on industry and equipment needs
May be available for specific projects or partners
May be available depending on equipment and partnership agreement
Limited options, may require personal guarantees

Company: A Preferred Structure for Raising Capital

Entrepreneurs often prefer to establish private limited companies due to their ability to access various funding sources. These companies find it easier to obtain debt financing through loans and credit lines from financial institutions due to their limited liability protection and established governance structures. The credibility of a corporate structure, coupled with a clear separation between personal and business finances, makes them attractive to lenders. Companies also excel in equity financing by raising substantial capital through issuing shares and attracting investors, including venture capitalists and angel investors. This ability brings in funds and attracts strategic partners who can contribute to the business’s growth with their expertise and networks. LLP & Partnership Firm: Balancing Personal Risk with Access to Capital

Ability to raise Capital for LLP or Partnership Firms

Limited Liability Partnerships (LLP) and Partnership Firms that have a complex relationship with accessing capital. When it comes to debt financing, these entities may face difficulties unless the partners provide personal guarantees, which increases their financial risk. Banks and financial institutions often perceive LLPs and partnerships as higher-risk entities compared to corporations. In terms of equity financing, LLPs and partnership firms rely mainly on contributions from the partners. Although they can attract additional capital based on the partners’ agreement, their options for external fundraising are more limited compared to companies.

Sole Proprietorship: Personal Credit at the Forefront

Accessing capital can be quite challenging for sole proprietorships. These businesses have limited liability protection and are often considered to be a higher risk to traditional financial institutions, making it difficult for them to secure debt financing. As a result, many sole proprietors rely on personal credit, family loans, or microfinance options. Unlike other types of businesses, sole proprietorships can’t issue shares, which means equity financing isn’t a viable option. Instead, proprietors often depend on personal savings or convincing individual investors to provide funds. However, this limits their chances of raising substantial capital for their business.

Government Grants and Loans: An Industry-Dependent Avenue

Access to government grants and loans varies depending on the business type and industry. These funding sources can provide crucial support, particularly for businesses in sectors that are prioritised by the government policies, such as technology, green energy, and social enterprises.

Conclusion

Choosing the right business structure involves aligning your startup’s funding needs and risk tolerance with the advantages and limitations of each structure. While companies offer greater access to capital, they involve more complex procedures and regulatory compliance. Other structures like LLPs, partnerships, and sole proprietorships may offer simplicity and control but require exploring alternative avenues and personal investment strategies.
As we continue in this series, upcoming topics will include Compliance, Ownership Transferability, and the Closure or Winding-up process, further guiding you through the multifaceted entrepreneurship journey in India.

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